Anheuser-Busch will pay US$120m to settle a lawsuit out of court. The settlement, reported yesterday (24 August), brings to a close a lawsuit filed by Maris Distributing Co. against the brewer.

In a regulatory filing yesterday, Anheuser-Busch said that it expects to record a related US$105m pre-tax charge in the third quarter.

A spokesman for the Maris family, however, told the Washington Post that the actual settlement was higher than US$120m. "That is only part of the settlement," Tom McNicholas told the paper. "It's nowhere near the totality of the agreement between the Maris family and Anheuser-Busch."

The Maris family had accused the brewer of defamation after AB cancelled a contract with the family, claiming publicly that the family's distributorship sold repackaged, out-of-date beer. A court award of US$50m to the family had been held up on appeal prior to this week's trial.